Foley Equipment has introduced a custom-built communications service that allows it to offer real-time technical assistance to its customers, regardless of equipment brand. The Kansas- and Missouri-based Caterpillar dealer recently launched Foley Lynx as a diagnostic tool to increase uptime for all customers irrespective of whether they rely on Foley for service and product support, or do most repairs themselves.
Foley Lynx offers a visual dimension to the diagnosing equipment, connecting through the customer’s smartphone and allowing the Foley Lynx consultant technician to see the customer’s machine and communicate information via what one customer calls “FaceTime on steroids.”
The Lynx Consultant can see what the customer sees, as well as share information with the customer. So, if there’s a piece of service documentation or a schematic, they can share that back to the customer in real-time.
“The Lynx consultant can annotate things on the screen,” says Mark Underhill, director of service operations. “If there’s a particular area they’re looking at through the user’s camera, our tech can put an arrow on the screen pointing at what he wants to specifically look at.”
Foley designed the service in-house, says Scott Tolley, product support sales manager, and integrated the video functionality using a third-party vendor. The service not only has available the Foley information, but it also integrates manufacturer resources from Caterpillar and other machine brands Foley represents, including Genie.
Foley has a technical staff dedicated to answering Lynx calls. “Our goal is to deliver value by meeting customers where they are,” says Tolley. “Our experts can increase uptime by helping customers troubleshoot complex issues without needing to send a technician.”
Foley Equipment monitors more than 10,000 connected machines, including its own rental fleet. The telematics connection enables Lynx to access a machine remotely at the customer’s request.
“If they do have a connected machine, then the combination of condition monitoring and Foley’s Lynx consultant can help the customer get better view of what they may have going on with their machine: like active fault codes, product status, and configuration settings,” says Underhill.
Tolley says the app holds great potential for the dealer to build and enhance relationships with all types of customers.
“For customers who have Customer Value Agreements, it’s a new, high-value benefit,” says Tolley. “For customers who do more of their own service and preventative maintenance, it gives them another way to work with us.”
Whether the customer manages a large fleet with a full-fledged maintenance department or has a few machines and does maintenance themselves, the service provides real-time video-enabled support at the other end of a smartphone.